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This has been an extraordinary week for Patrick Augustus.
I kept my eye on the time left on the clock. According to Bumbleeach of the 25 conversations that I had on this dating app attempted to start with men who had matched me were about to expire. I had five minutes left, and even though I knew my odds were slim, I was still hopeful.
Maybe they had misplaced their phones.
Maybe work had gone late, and they were finally about to clock out. Maybe, just maybe, they were sitting at home, staring at their own countdown clock, attempting to craft the perfect message in response to mine.
Time was on my side. It had to be. All these positive observations were somehow referenced in my Bumble profilewhether presented in a carefully crafted profile photo or written in a witty sentence. I had put myself out there—on an app that specifically wants the woman to message the man first, so as to avoid unwanted conversations—and I received nothing back. I sat there for a few minutes and I cried. I would start again with a new slate. At the time, I painstakingly filled out the numerous questions that OkCupid claimed would help me find potential matches. Did I smoke?
Did I believe that a woman was obligated to keep her legs shaved?
One quick hand over my shins answered that question for the both of us. I answered the questions honestly. When all was said and done, I clicked the Accept button and I smiled to myself. I was ready to fall in love, or at the very least, meet someone nice. But it was apparent that a lot of men had selected that preference. However, there was a part of me that still felt othered.
These are the guys that I end up dating because they sent me a message and were nice. This Black woman is going to eat this shit up.
I am not one of them. Compare me to something unique, like a beautiful grain of wood or a bottle of liquor. I screenshotted that conversation and promptly blocked him, although that kind of conversation and that word seem to come up often in my dating life.
The first one was actually a long-time boyfriend, an engineer I had met off of Craigslist, surprisingly. We had hooked up, and even though that first night—and the second night—was terrible, he was cute and funny, and we ended up dating for a little over a year.
His obsession with that word was a topic of countless discussions, none of which painted him in a positive light. It is now a new year, but every couple of weeks, I delete all my dating apps — usually TinderBumble, and Hinge, though I have also used most of the major dating sites. I tell myself that I am done with online dating.
That I will go outside and I will meet a man out there in the real world. No thank you.
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I tell myself that I just need to get back out there or maybe take a break—but then if I take a break, I might miss out on finding him, and then what am I going to do? What if the love of my life is only one swipe, one like, one heart, one whatever the fuck away? What could I be missing out on? So I sit there in the middle of the night and I take out my phone. Katherine Morgan Updated Aug 28, pm.
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Then it happened. All my matches turned gray. They had expired.
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